What will this week's rail strikes mean for South Tyneside Metro travellers - and what alternative transport arrangements are in place?

Metro passengers in Sunderland and South Tyneside will need to find an alternative way to travel this week.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union is taking industrial action tomorrow (Thursday, August 18) and on Saturday (August 20).

The TSSA (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) and Unite unions will also be walking out over pay and jobs.

The strike does not include staff employed by Metro operator Nexus, so most of the network will operate as normal on both days.

But the stretch of line between Pelaw and South Hylton will be affected.

Why will the strike have an effect on Metro services in Sunderland and South Tyneside if Metro staff are not taking part?

Although Tyne and Wear Metro employees are not taking part in the strike, there will be an impact on services between Pelaw and South Hylton because this stretch of line is part of the national rail network owned and managed by Network Rail, whose staff are taking industrial action.

If Network Rail does not have enough people at work to operate signals, then train services cannot run.

Metro services will be suspended on the Sunderland line tomorrow and on Saturday

How will Metro services be affected between Pelaw and South Hylton?

No Metro services at all will be running between Pelaw and South Hylton tomorrow (Thursday, August 18) or on Saturday (August 20).

Customers will need to find alternative modes of travel on both days and are being advised to visit Nexus’ Journey Planner for bus options.

Nexus says it is not possible for it to provide replacement buses at short notice on strike days, so customers should find alternative travel or put off their journeys.

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Will there be ticket acceptance on local bus routes in the affected area?

Yes. There will be ticket acceptance on the following buses:

*Stagecoach: X24,18/18A, 8, 10/11

*Go North East: 9, 56

*Gateshead Central Taxis: 558

Will there be any knock-on effect on Metro services after the strikes?

The strike will mean services between Pelaw and South Hylton will not start until 7am on Friday (August 19), and Sunday (August 21).

Will the rest of the Metro network be affected?

Some early morning trains elsewhere on the system will not operate.